Join Will Kemp for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting a winter tone, part of Foundations of Painting: Creating Palettes for the Landscape.
- So we're now going to discover the bone structure of the landscape in winter. And when you view winter scenes through the eyes of a painter, you can really start to notice key elements that appear again and again that can make a winter scene appear so magical. From backlit clouds, atmospheric light, shadows in the snow, and smokey blended colors sitting in stark contrast to the sharp clean silhouetted shapes of trees, fences, and gateposts and then that also influences the brush strokes and techniques that you'd use in a winter scene.
I'd be looking at using a soft Filbert shaped brush so I can blend together colors and smoke edges. In any landscape, the sky makes the biggest difference and sets a tonal palette for that particular season. So learning how to assess atmospheric lighting is the key to successful landscape painting. For a winter scene, the main light coming from the sky is often diffused behind thick clouds. This gives the scene a compressed tonal range, muted colors and shadows on the ground or in the snow that are often very soft with diffused blended edges.
Winter is the perfect season to experiment with a limited palette to create some beautiful soft pastel colors. We're going to begin with a couple of color mixing lessons using a palette from the blue and orange family of colors. We're gonna be mixing them together to create neutrals. Blue and orange are opposite each other on a classical artist's color wheel so when mixed together, mute each other down. Then we're gonna look at brush techniques for the season, moving on to a more complete step by step painting.
But first, I want to show you how to split the lights and shadows of winter in your mixes and how to create tonal color strings. And these can be so handy for capturing a compressed tonal range of winter.
Will explains how to simplify and separate tonal values into areas of light and shadow, how to use warm and cool colors effectively, and how to mix a naturalistic green palette — a major color stumbling block in landscape painting. A vibrant spring green, for example, can be easy to mix, but hard to balance. The same is true for warm autumnal colors and the vivid blues of summer skies. Will shows how to build these palettes and use gestural impressionistic brushstrokes to paint different landscape scenes. By introducing washes and glazes, he demonstrates how to simulate the atmospheric light of each season. So break out your brushes and paints. Start watching to learn how to mix color for the landscape and approach painting the seasons with confidence.
- Setting up supports and grounds
- Choosing brushes, paints, and additional materials
- Mixing harmonious color palettes
- Creating a winter palette with neutrals
- Blending colors of atmospheric light
- Painting smoky edges and dark areas of a landscape
- Mixing and balancing green
- Underpainting a spring landscape
- Creating autumnal golden light
- Extending color palettes
- Adding watery washes and glazes
- Creating a vibrant summer palette
- Simplifying shapes in a landscape painting